One voice matters, even if it’s only 6-years old

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So, it seems like the man of the year for 2007 was global warming (yeah, I know it’s not really a man, but you get the point). Which also led to the excuse of the year

“Why bother doing anything about it, do you really think me using a compact flourescent lightbulb is going to make any different to the global climate?”

Now, I’m a pretty peaceful guy, but whenever I hear people say things like this, I just want to bop them in the head (gentle love tap).

Variations of this justification for inaction spin out into nearly every phenomenon, where individual action really only matters, beyond self-satisfaction and priming your karma-pump, when it is part of a greater movement.

One voice matters, even if it’s a little kid!

The proof is in the above picture, but you’re gonna have to guess what it is to get your answer…

That’s right, the picture above is incontrovertible-evidence that small, individual acts can come together to make a giant difference. But you’ve got to know what it is to get why.

So, here’s my challenge…

Guess what the picture above (1) shows and (2) exactly how it got there (be specific) and share your answers in the comment section below. On Friday, I will post addition pictures that will not only reveal what it is, but totally blow you away with the power of kids to join together and help other kids (okay, that was a giant hint).

And, to inspire you to share your voice, I’m even offering a prize…

The first person who guesses right will get a $50 contribution made in their name to the charity/cause of their choice. Nice way to start the year, eh!

Okay, guess away…

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19 responses

19 responses to “One voice matters, even if it’s only 6-years old”

  1. Dave Waugh says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’m going to guess that it’s a pile of pennies (or, spare change in general), all collected by kids… perhaps raiding their parents pockets?! And it looks like a TON of change, at that! Change for change, one might say…


  2. Cathy says:

    I second Dave above who says it is spare change. When I looked closely at the picture, that’s what I thought it was and I thought of a story my mother recounted about a girl who started collecting spare change for a cause and then she eventually ended up on Oprah and being written about in Bill Clinton’s book “Giving.”

    I’m not sure who exactly my mother was telling me about, but I found reference to Nora Gross who started Penny Harvest. However she wasn’t 6 years old. However, Bill Clinton did highlight a 6 year old girl who cleaned up the beaches.

    So, I don’t think I won the contest (bummer!), but I do agree that little things can change the world and it only takes one person to make a difference.

    And for that, I want to thank you. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the extent of the fight for the environment and this post renewed my hope.

  3. I guess I am too late. I too was going to guess that it is a massive pile of pennies, colected by some cute six-year old which amounts to some insane number, like $20,000.

  4. spare change collected, in a swimming pool.

  5. Shama Hyder says:

    Change collected from a fountain? = )

  6. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Everyone – okay, so you are on the right track, but you gotta think bigger!

    I’ll give you one more hint…it was on display in NYC last week…hmmmm…

  7. hmm, let me guess that it’s the 100 million cents raised for charity in NYC which was on display in Rockefeller Center? 😉 They called it the Penny Harvest Field.

  8. Dave Waugh says:

    It’s $1,000,000 in pennies. It was on display at the Rockefeller Center throughout December.

    The 100,000,000 pennies were collected solely by children between October 22nd and Thanksgiving to form what was called the “Penny Harvest Field.”

    At least, this is what my little bit of research tells me. Pretty inspiring stuff!!

    Jonathan, if I’m right, you can please donate my 5,000 pennies to Free the Children, a Canadian association of children helping children. Everyone can check it out at Started by a 12 year-old boy, this association is another great source of inspiration.

    Thanks, Jonathan, for a great post, and for pushing us to find the meaning in this exercise…

  9. Mark Mozingo says:

    Hey Jonathan!
    I think that it’s the pennies outside of Rockefeller Center that were donated by NYC students. It’s called the Penny Harvest…and the funds they raise go towards anything they want it to in their own community. At least, that’s all I could think of.
    Nice class today, you kicked my butt.


  10. Michel says:

    Hello Jonahtan,

    My guess is… an amount of one million dollars in pennies collected upon the request of a young boy for a noble cause… This amount might represend a million individuals who respond to the boy with a donnation of 1 single penny. A story to prove that TOGETHER we can accomplish anything… only IF we choose to!

  11. Hey, unfair! The rest had a clear advantage! Haha. At first I thought it was piles of trash collected by a bunch of earth lovers. Until I saw Dave’s answer, I was like … “Hmm… that makes sense…”

    Loved your little puzzle!


  12. abby says:

    a pot of noodles in penny sauce?
    seriously, thank you for always challenging me to think with my heart. can’t wait to read your book.

  13. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ everyone – and the winner is…Tamar! Though, Dave and Mark got it right, too, but hey, big-bad T was quicker to the buzzer.

    Tomorrow, I’ll put up some great pictures of the entire harvest field. It’s pretty amazing to see!

    Thanks for all your guesses!

  14. Mark says:

    Pennies aside, this reminds me of the oft quoted starfish story.

    A man happens upon a little boy tossing starfish back into the ocean. He’s surrounded by thousands of them, washed ashore after a storm.

    The man, thinking like an adult, says “Why do you bother? You cant save them all, what does it matter?”

    As the boy tosses a starfish back into the ocean he says “It matters to that one.”

    What doesnt matter is the negative BS that people fling your way when you are trying to do your part. Ignore it. Do your part because it matters to you and to whoever you help.

  15. Adeline says:

    Great stuff. There is that saying that even if you have a single $ – how you choose to spend it makes a difference.

  16. Alison says:

    I’m going to go with an enormous pile of pennis collected by kids for Unicef..perhaps on Hallowe’en.

  17. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Mark – love the story about the starfish, hope you don’t mind if I retell it along the way!

    @ Adeline – agreed, it’s not so much about what you have, but what you DO with what you have.

    @ Alison – It’s the famed Penny Harvest, check today’s post for more pics!

  18. Mark says:


    Regarding the starfish, no prob at all.